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The Honors Thesis Proposal Checklist for Revision Amanda Arp Jorgen Rose © Deanne S. Gute, PhD Academic Learning Center 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "The Honors Thesis Proposal Checklist for Revision Amanda Arp Jorgen Rose © Deanne S. Gute, PhD Academic Learning Center 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Honors Thesis Proposal Checklist for Revision Amanda Arp Jorgen Rose © Deanne S. Gute, PhD Academic Learning Center 2013

2 WRITING CENTER ngcenter.html & Facebook ngcenter.html Call 319-273-2361 for appointments 8-5 Monday through Friday 008 ITTC Drop-in Writing Assistance Sunday evenings, 6-9 in the Rod Library (Browsing Collection, Main Floor) The “A” Team

3 Have you Considered Audience Expectations? Consider both expert & non-expert readers. Both need An explicit purpose expressed early All customary sections in customary order Analytical emphasis, not source summary & quotation Integration of analysis and source support Smooth connections built into content and organization

4 Imagine yourself in a dialogue with your readers ( Where will they have questions? Disagree? Feel confused? Feel impatient? Feel dissatisfied by the amount of detail? )

5 Use Conventional Thesis Structure I. Introduction II. Problem or Creative Challenge Purpose (states how you will answer your major question) III. Hypothesis (quantitative studies only) IV.Literature Review V.Research Methods/ Description of Creative Process VI. Definitions VII.Significance VIII.Findings or Performance Critique IX.Proposal/Recommendations X.Expanded Discussion of Significance XI.Summary/Closure End of Proposal

6 Exceptions to Conventional Structure Historiographies Econometric analyses Literary analysis Others? –All of these special formats still attend to problem, purpose, and significance!

7 Work with a Plan and a Timeline

8 Sample Planning Outline Purpose 1. Research Questions A) Are sinkholes of concern to groundwater quality in the Waverly Quadrangle? B) To answer this question, more fundamental issues must be addressed first: Where are the sinkholes in the Waverly Quadrangle? What are the relationships between superficial geology composition, bedrock, and hydraulic gradient with the formation of sinkholes? What are the land use practices in the areas surrounding the sinkholes? C) In attempt to address these issues, this thesis will analyze the characteristics of sinkholes to better understand what factors lead to their development in the Waverly Quadrangle. To do this, four sinkhole sites have been chosen to have soil samples taken for use in particle size analysis. In addition, analyses of various spatial and geological characteristics will be done using geographic information system (GIS) tools. 2. Research Statement A) The findings of this study will describe and discuss: The particle size analysis results from the four sampled sinkholes The spatial distribution of sinkholes in the Waverly Quadrangle

9 Move from Interesting Topic to Focused Research Question To avoid studies that are too broadly-conceived to be meaningful To avoid studies that aren’t feasible to conduct in the timeframe/with the resources you have To avoid studies that appear to lack significance A good question is based on an observation of a problem

10 Describe the Problem Where is it found? Who is affected? What are its primary symptoms? For performances, what is the primary artistic challenge? Consider real life as well as describing gaps in the existing literature. Use the problem statement to convince your readers why the project deserves your attention and theirs.

11 Types of Problems Action problems –What is wrong? What is failing? What is unknown? Conceptual problems Conflicts in values or beliefs

12 State Purpose Clearly/Directly Expresses how you will attempt to solve some part of the problem and suggests the method you’ll use to do it. States what you will do/where/how/, involving what population, audience, location, or body of literature.

13 In order to understand where fair value is most relevant throughout the many business sectors, it is important to determine which industries use fair value more readily than others and what types of investments they hold. Charles Baxter’s essays in Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction cover a range of important concepts related to the craft of fiction, which will be discussed within the context of twelve short stories.

14 Summarize the Problem or Major Question & Purpose Statement in the Introduction First 2-3 paragraphs Scene-setting Context-giving (demonstrates your preliminary review of relevant literature) Central Problem, Creative Challenge, or Question Purpose in Future Tense

15 Craft a Partial Lit. Review Worth Reading Keep readers engaged! Avoid total domination by citation & summary or extreme quotation Avoid total domination by your own agenda/opinion Avoid “piling on:” information without integration (connection, transition, integration into larger purpose)

16 Concisely Summarize your Methods or Theoretical Framework Classify your General Approach: Quantitative: measurement, experiment, quasi-experiment, etc. Qualitative examples: Case study, ethnography, interview, historiography, literary analysis, philosophy, performance A Resources to Help You Describe What Your Approach Is: John W. Creswell, 2008, 3rd ed. —Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Sage Publications, Inc. $43/ 2nd ed., 2003: UNI Stacks H62.C6963 2003

17 Use specific/concise headings (natural offshoots of your planning outline) Use topic sentences to begin paragraphs, not citations (Sweers and Cooper (2004) conducted a study in which...) Build effective transitions that blend source summary, analysis, quotation

18 Because the Proposal is a Plan, it will NOT include An exhaustive literature review (unless required by your faculty adviser) See for help Research findings Discussion of results or analysis Discussion of limitations (problems that arose, generalizations you can’t make) The full creative project It CAN include a description of possible approaches if final decisions haven’t been made.

19 Offer Closure While Looking Ahead to the Full Study Suggest the possible significance of doing this research or performance (how is it important? To whom?) Summarize the timeline and process for completing the research

20 Explaining Significance: Why your Research Matters; What Good it Could Do To your field of study or performance To practical reality To you (some areas permit more personal reflection/application) Make your argument clear and convincing for all of your major audiences, not just specialists

21 Get Your Document Under Control at the Sentence Level Expect to revise & proofread multiple times on your own and according to feedback you receive from readers, for Consistency and accuracy with quotation, citation, and formatting style Tight, clear sentences not laden with fat or jargon Precise word choice Appropriate level of formality (see “Common Problems”) Grammatical sentences Accurate punctuation, word use, spelling, capitalization, numerical style, etc.

22 Review Citation Style for Completeness, Accuracy, & Consistency? Proofread in-text citations, References or Works Cited list, title page, and anything else with specific formatting guidelines Style reviews require great attention to detail! Use your Manual! APA (6 th ed.), MLA (7 th ed.), Chicago (16 th ed.), others Variations include date/no date, presentation of author names, order of information, capitalization, etc.

23 KNOW YOUR STYLE: They’re not all the same! APA/MLA In-Text Citation Basics APA: Author-Date System As Turgen (2007) explained,... *Cite page number for direct quotes only. *Use past tense when discussing source material. MLA: Author-Page System As Turgen explains, “....” (255). Some authors argue that Web-based marketing strategies target teenagers in unethical ways (Turgen 255). *Cite page number for all source material. *Use present tense when discussing source material.

24 Draft, Revise, Edit, Proofread, Repeat Do them all, as many times as necessary, for Quality Control.

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